asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity what are the latest figures for the unemployment rates in the Portsmouth area, the South-East Region and the country as a whole; and what were the rates at the same time last year.
At 11th November, 1968, the percentage rates of unemployment in the Portsmouth travel-to-work area, the South East region and Great Britain were 2·9, 1·6 and 2·4, respectively. These figures are provisional. The corresponding rates for November 1967, were 3, 1·7 and 2·5.
While it is right to be concerned with the percentage of unemployment region by region, total numbers also matter, and in this respect the numbers for the South-East are disturbing. May we have an assurance that there will be full consultation with the Ministry of Defence about the implications to a city such as Plymouth of the forthcoming dockyard review?
I can give the assurance that when the review of the future of the dockyards is completed, the House, the local authorities and the trade unions will be informed and consulted.